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Life and Times in pictures: Education protests in Gloucester at glamorous Civic Balls

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 26, 2014

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If there are no hints as to when a photograph has been taken, one sign which can help answer questions about it is to pay close attention to the fashion.

This is how the conversation with Iona Robins, 86, from Matson began when she called to identify herself in a photograph.

Iona, a former Mayoress of Gloucester, spotted her photo on January 21’s Life and Times page and recalled the evening of a civic ball in 1976.

“It was the annual Civic Ball held in the city each year and I remember getting ready to go to the ball” she said.

“The year was 1976 and the big hairstyle was the distinguishable fashion in those years.”

The occasion marked a year of good deeds and advancements in Gloucester and locals could only attend the ball by invitation.

“It was a celebration of all those who have participated in charity events or helped the community in some way,” she said.

Suspecting the picture was taken at the Guildhall in the Mayors Chamber, Iona was also able to name others in the photograph.

Norman Partridge was the gentleman behind the Mayor and Mayoress, Deputy Mayor in the seventies.

The visiting Mayor was either Hereford or Worcester, who regularly made an appearance in Gloucester.

That image constrasts starkly with these images of protests - one of which is against the civic ball.

One banner reads ‘civic ball - civic waste’, another says Gloucester City Council’s motto is ‘self first’, while a third talks about cuts to health, education and wages.

The date of the picture is unknown. Were you at the ball or the protests and can you give us details?

Another photo shows just how large the protest was, and how students had joined in to rally against education cuts.

Were you a protester and are you pictured?

For the city, the decade was a prosperous one, with the opening of Eastgate Shopping Centre in 1973 and a redeveloped King’s Square being revealed in 1974.

But these photographs, suggest plenty of unhappiness and unrest.

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